Author(s): Kate DiCamillo
Francine Poulet is the greatest animal control officer in Gizzford County. She hails from a long line of animal control officers. She's battled snakes, outwitted squirrels, and stared down a bear. "The genuine article," Francine's dad always called her. She is never scared - until, that is, she's faced with a screaming raccoon that may or may not be a ghost. Maybe Francine isn't cut out to be an animal control officer after all! But the raccoon is still on the loose, and the folks on Deckawoo Drive need Francine back. Can she face her fears, round up the raccoon, and return to the ranks of animal control? Join a cast of familiar characters - Frank, Stella, Mrs Watson, and Mercy the porcine wonder - for some riotous raccoon wrangling on Deckawoo Drive.
Fans of Leroy Ninker Saddles Up (2014) will relish this new tale, which successfully expands the core of the Mercy Watson series while offering generous cameos from the original characters, as well as much buttered toast. No one offers early readers better quality prose than DiCamillo, who never allows the constrictions of this format to deter her from excellent writing: "Franny, you are the genuine article. You are solid. You are certain. You are like a refrigerator. You hum." Series illustrator Van Dusen's artwork (not seen in final form) is a treat, as always, reflecting the quirkiness of DiCamillo's unique cast of characters. Francine Poulet will wrangle readers' hearts along with rascally wildlife in this standout early chapter book. Booklist (starred review) New readers ready for a challenge and some laughs will welcome more characters from Deckawoo Drive. Kirkus Reviews Like Leroy Ninker Saddles Up, it's a witty yet tender reminder of the importance of being one's best self. You do you, Francine. Publishers Weekly With plenty of white space and a large font the title is tailor-made for young readers transitioning to chapter books and will be enjoyed by "Mercy Watson" (Candlewick) fans and new readers alike...A worthy addition to the series. School Library Journal DiCamillo's quick, dryly hilarious dialogue makes this over-the-top story shine, as does the tender subplot about Francine's father, who still roots for her from the great beyond. Chris Van Dusen's comical caricatures of Officer Poulet, the ridiculously bejeweled Mrs. Bissinger and that crazy ghost raccoon make the whole book hum. Shelf Awareness The wacky plot comes smartly together with humorous insights and lively illustrations. Familiar characters, including Frank and Stella, the Lincoln sisters, and Mrs. Watson, lead the story to its climax on Deckawoo Drive, resulting in the raccoon's capture, the restoration of Francine's self-esteem, and lots of toast. The Horn Book DiCamillo's writing is diverting and warmly descriptive, the story has heart, and Francine is an undeniably likable character. Even in black and white, Van Dusen's illustrations evince warmth and humor. Fans of the first book in the series, Leroy Ninker Saddles Up (BCCB 9/14), and the Mercy Watson books may find similar enjoyment here. Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books School librarians will definitely want to add this new escapade to their collections. School Library Connection Kate DiCamillo delivers an inspiring message replete with suspense and fun... Star Tribune Featured/recommended in list of the "Best Books of 2015 (So Far)" Watch. Connect. Read. (blog) Kate DiCamillo summer reading list featured School Library Journal Kate DiCamillo event featured Cleveland Plains Dealer Kate DiCamillo interviewed on the show "Live on Lakeside" WKYC.com Featured/recommended TwinCities.com Featured/recommended St. Paul Pioneer Press Kate DiCamillo mentioned The Washington Post Chris Van Dusen event mentioned VillageSoup.com Included in the ABC Best Books for Young Readers Catalog American Booksellers Association Kate DiCamillo featured in National Book Festival photo roundup Publishers Weekly Kate DiCamillo mentioned as the National Ambassador The Frederick Post Featured/recommended Books 4 Your Kids (blog) Kate DiCamillo live webcast event feature Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Featured/recommended in Halloween roundup And Twins Make 5 (blog) Kate DiCamillo live webcast event featured The Almanac Featured/recommended in Halloween roundup Ever After in the Woods (blog) Kate DiCamillo event featured CBS Pittsburgh Mercy Watson 10th anniversary featured Unleashing Readers (blog) Featured/recommended in Halloween roundup Grandma's Briefs (blog) Kate DiCamillo event featured in a list of top 10 things to do in Pittsburgh in October Pittsburgh Magazine Kate DiCamillo event featured Valley News Dispatch Kate DiCamillo featured Tribune-Review Kate DiCamillo interviewed The Horn Book Kate DiCamillo event featured at the Savannah Children's Book Festival Jacksonville.com Kate DiCamillo interviewed Connect Savannah Kate DiCamillo mentioned as National Ambassador CBC Newsletter Kate DiCamillo featured as the National Ambassador Watch. Connect. Read. (blog) Kate DiCamillo "Stories Connect Us" essay featured The Washington Post Kate DiCamillo featured at the Savannah Children's Book Festival Do Savannah Featured/recommended in holiday gift guide The Clarion-Ledger Kate DiCamillo featured Savannah Morning News Kate DiCamillo featured The Orlando Sentinel Featured/recommended in the Children & Teens Department Favorites 2015 catalog Politics & Prose Bookstore Featured/recommended in holiday gift guide St. Louis Post- Dispatch
Kate DiCamillo is the beloved author of many books for young readers, including six books about Mercy Watson as well as the Deckawoo Drive spin-off series, plus seven novels for older readers that include Flora & Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures and The Tale of Despereaux, both of which won the prestigious Newbery Medal. Kate was National Ambassador for Young People's Literature 2014-2015. She lives in Minneapolis, USA. Chris Van Dusen is the author-illustrator of The Circus Ship, King Hugo's Huge Ego, and Randy Riley's Really Big Hit, and the illustrator of the Mercy Watson and Deckawoo Drive series as well as Mac Barnett'sPresident Taft Is Stuck in the Bath. Chris Van Dusen lives in Maine, USA.